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It's what I do that teaches me what I'm looking for.Pierre Soulages

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The Culture Map

The Culture Map

How can we manage communication issues triggered by cultural differences?

Author(s): Erin Meyer

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Date of publication: 2014

Buy this book [amazon.com]


Whether working on a multinational project, negotiating with a foreign subcontractor or transferring to a position in a foreign country, managers today must be able to interact with people of other nationalities. The ease of communication and the intensity of international trade sometimes give the impression that habit makes things easier.

This ease is an illusion. Erin Meyer points out that cultural differences continue to be a major source of conflict and inefficiency at work. The implicit codes that govern communication and behavior are indeed very different from one culture to another. Courtesy and respect, for example, aren’t behaviorally reflected in the same way in China and the United States. What is considered to be constructive feedback in France could easily be considered demoralizing and unfair in the United States, etc. The traps are legion, even for seasoned executives.

This book provides a detailed description of professional communication issues triggered by cultural differences. It provides the keys to help managers address these issues more effectively. Examples include frequently and clearly explaining your management style to defuse potential misunderstandings with your team, or paying attention to local cultural symbols and codes (form of address, office location, attitude at meetings, etc.).

A rich and pragmatic book.